Mapex Black Panther Blaster Snare review

A hot option with maple shell and walnut reinforcing rings

  • £325
  • $569

MusicRadar Verdict

A distinctly musical, tonally dynamic drum.


  • +

    Thin, supportive rings. Even and well executed edges.


  • -

    Nothing of note.

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The name Black Panther, conjuring up speed and power allied to velvety sleekness, has been a winner for Mapex over the past decade. Now Mapex has given the entire range an overhaul with 14 brand new models. You can read every Black Panther snare drum review here.

Each drum has either single-ended shield-design cast lugs, or elegantly sculpted twin-point mounted tube lugs. The patented 'Sonic Saver' hoops lie between flanged and die-cast hoops. Recalling the classic Slingerland 'Stick Saver' concept, the top lip of each pressed stainless steel hoop bends over and in, not out as on standard hoops.

The handsome throw-off is a smoothly operating pull-away lever with adjustable strainers at both ends. Micro lock knobs click silently as you turn them for sensitive adjustment of the stainless steel wires. There are several new bearing edge profiles, and capping it all a new die-cast, chrome-plated Black Panther badge.

You can watch a video overview of the new range with Craig Blundell and Steve White below. Scroll down for the full review.

Black Panther Blaster


The Blaster is the only Panther with internal reinforcing rings. It has a 13"x7" shell which is 5.1mm of maple with 3.4mm internal rings of walnut. These thin rings extend about 4cm into the shell top and bottom. In terms of support they certainly work - the review shell was almost perfectly round, despite being thin.

The 45-degree bearing edges slope up to a not-too-sharp smooth-over on the outer ply. As with all the Panther edges they're even and well executed. The shell is finished in a two-tone transparent brown fade stain and gloss lacquer.

Hands on

Bored with 14" snares? Then why not change your sound to this 13"x7"? Decreasing the diameter while increasing the depth gives the drum a different tonal dynamic. It's just as powerful as a 14" but has that little bit more edge, allied to depth.

Because of the depth the drum suits slightly higher tuning when it delivers maximum bite. But we actually preferred it at mid tuning, when it was fat and creamy, the combination of maple and walnut with the vintage build giving it a marvelously musical tone.